Texas Almanac, 1952-1953 Page: 47
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BRIEF HISTORY OF TEXAS. 47
of Mexico the Senate of the new Republic
refused to ratify the treaty made by Houston
This action of the Texas Senate aroused the
anger of the Cherokees and there was fric-
tion between them and the neighboring white
population. Finally, in 1839. three companies
of white settlers invaded the Cherokee
grounds and drove them out, the tribe mi-
grating northward across the Red River. It
was in this conflict known as the Cherokee
War, that the courageous old Chief Bowles
(or Bowl) was wounded and shot to death.
This attack was made during the administra-
tion of President Lamar, who had little
patience with the red man. Sam Houston, who
had -once lived with the Cherokees in Ar-
kansas, bitterly denounced the repudiation of
the treaty with the Cherokees and their ex-
pulsion from Texas.
Alabamas and Coushattas
The Alabamas and Coushattas were among
the other tribes that migrated to Texas at an
early date from their homeland across the
Mississippi. Although never large in umber,
they are notable for being the only tribes
that have continued to exist within the con-
fines of Texas. A remnant of these tribes.
scattered along the Neches in 1854, attracted
the attention of Sam Houston, who was influ-
ential in having two square miles of land.
or 1,280 acres, given them for a reservation.
Here in the midst of the Big Thicket the
Indians dwelt with little notice from the
white people about them until about 1927.
when their destitute condition was called to
the attention of governmental authorities by
the residents of Polk County, in which the
reservation is situated.
'A federal appropriation was made and 3.000
acres of land bought, raising the reservation
to 4,280 acres. The Texas State Board of
Control was authorized to allot to the Indians
certain household equipment and as a result
of these acts the living conditions of the
Indians were greatly improved. The little
band of Alabamas and Coushattas, still speak-
ing the native tongue and retaining many
tribal customs (although largely Christian-
ized during the last fifty years), lives today
on its reservation in the eastern part of Polk
County. Total Indian population of this com-
munity is between 300 and 400, about 80
per cent of whom are Alabamas, 20 per cent
Other Immigrant Tribes
Remnants of other eastern tribles migrated
to Texas in the latter part of the eighteenth
and early part of the nineteenth centuries,
notably the Seminoles, Kickapoos and Dela-
wares. The two last-mentioned tribes settled
largely in Eastern Texas among the Chero-
kees and were expelled with the, Cherokees
in 1839. Part of the Seminoles came in with
the Cherokees, but a later migration entered
the state from Florida. Part of the Seminoles
drifted westward to the vicinity of Kinney
County and a small reservation was main-
tained for them for a number of years near
Fort Clark at Brackettville, this being aban-
doned only in recent years. Most of these
Seminoles eventually drifted across the Rio
Grande. A few Seminoles still dwell in- the
vicinity of Brackettville.
By the time of the Lamar administration.
1839-41, the Caddoes, once the most powerful
and most highly civilized Indian stock in
Texas, had practically disappeared. Warfare
and pestilence thinned the ranks of these
Indians rapidly after their contact with the
French and Spanish. Some of them joined the
Cherokees during the migration of the latter
to Texas and later drifted northward into
Indian Territory. Only the Indians of the
western and southwestern parts of the state
remained to oppose the oncoming tide of
white man's civilization.
The Karankawas had been thinned to the
point of extinction and driven southward and
the Lipan Apaches had retreated westward.
many of them crossing the Rio Grande. There
continued to be forays from across the Rio
Grande for a number of years, but the line of
conflict lay primarily between the frontiers-
man and the Indians of the northwestern
The Comanches were giving much trouble
in the vicinity of San Antonio and a council
between leaders of the tribe and the whites
was agreed upon, the assembly taking place
at San Antonio. To this meeting, which was
held March 19, 1840, the Indians were to have
brought their white prisoners for exchange
and settlement, but when they appeared with
only one prisoner the whites determined to
hold the thirty or forty assembled warriors
as hostages. A fight ensued in which the
Indians were killed with one or two excep-
tions. This was known as the Council House
Linnville Raid of 1840
The Council House Fight only intensified
the feeling among the Comanches and min
August of 1840 they made what was probably
the greatest single raid ever conducted- by
Indians in the Southwest. Appearing Aug. 3.
the band of 1.000 or more Indians swept
down the valley of the Guadalupe, killing a
large number of persons in the vicinity of
Cuero and Victoria and sacking the town of
Linnville, while residents of the town took
refuge in boats on the bay. After several days
of raiding and with 1,500 or more stolen
horses and much merchandise taken at Linn-
ville, the Indians started their retreat, but
were overtaken and decisively defeated in the
Battle of Plum Creek. Aug. 12, near Lock-
hart, the volunteer army of Americans being
led by Gen. Felix Houston, Col. Edward
Burleson, Capt. Matthew Caldwell and others.
After the Battle of Plum Creek and with
the growing population of Texas, rapid prog-
ress was made in pushing the frontier west-
ward, despite frequent Indian raids.
- Houston's Second Term
Sam Houston was elected again to the
presidency in September, 1841, after a bitter
campaign in which Vice-President Burnet
opposed him. Houston immediately restored
the policy of friendly relationships with the
Indians. However, the conciliatory policy
toward Mexico, pursued in his first adminis-
tration, was not possible because the Santa
Fe expedition and the activities of the Texas
Navy during Lamar's administration had
spurred the Mexican Government to aggres-
sive action. In March, 1842, a Mexican expe-
ditionary force suddenly appeared and took
possession of San Antonio, Victoria, Goliad,
Refuglo and some other places. There was
feverish activity to organize a force to attack
the Mexicans, but before it could be assem-
bled the Mexican army retired across the Rio
Grande. In September the Mexicans struck
again with a force of 1,500 soldiers under
Gen. Adrian Woll, recapturing San Antonio.
They retreated toward the Rio Grande a
few days later. A detachment of Woll's army
was defeated by a small company of Texans
on the Salado. However, a company of fifty-
five from LaGrange under command of Capt.
Nicholas Mosby Dawson, while endeavoring
to join the Texas forces at San Antonio, was
surrounded, and thirty-three were slain, in-
cluding Captain Dawson. Most of the remain-
ing men who surrendered were either slain
or died in captivity in Mexico. Public senti-
ment in Texas was raised to fever heat and
punitive measures were decided upon.
Under Gen. Alexander Somervell a force
marched to the Rio Grande, where the larger
part of the expedition turned back under
orders. About 300 of the men, however, or-
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Texas Almanac, 1952-1953, book, 1951; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117137/m1/49/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.